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When you take a picture your camera has to give it a name of some kind before you can save it and as you've probably already discovered the name is mostly numbers. In fact, they're sequential numbers. Every time you take a picture, the camera increments its image number. Now by default these numbers keep going up until you hit 9999 at which point they roll over to one and start over. The images are stored on your media card inside a folder which is inside another folder called DCIM. Each folder can hold up to 9999 images.
If a folder fills the camera automatically creates a new one that has a sequential number of its own. You can change the numbering scheme though so that it resets each time you put a new card into your camera or create a new folder. When it's set this way every time you put in a new card you'll get a new numbering scheme. You'll also get a new numbering scheme every time you take out your old card, empty it out, reformat it, and then reinsert it. If you want you can also reset the numbering scheme manually.
In most situations the default continuous numbering scheme is the best way to go. If you have numbering set to Reset every time you change cards, then you will possibly run into troubles with duplicate file names. For example, maybe you're on vacation and at the end of each day you dump all of the images that you shot that day into a folder on your computer. If the file names are resetting each time, then you'll have duplicate file names everyday. If I go into the menus here in the first tool menu there's a File numbering option.
It defaults to Continuous. Now this is the behavior that you're used to where every time you put in a new card it doesn't matter. That camera just keeps going with its sequential numbers. I can pop that open and I get a couple of options. Auto reset will reset the file numbering every time I put in a new card that doesn't have to be a physically different card, but every time a card is removed from the camera and another card put in and even if it's the same card that you took out, it'll still reset, or I can force it to reset. So that gives me some control of when I want start renumbering at one.
Most of the time though you're probably just going to leave it in Continuous. If you turn off Continuous numbering then the camera will restart numbering any time you create a new folder and you can manually create folders as we'll see in the next movie. This allows you to stay organized within the camera. For example, let's say you're on vacation again. But this you've switched off Continuous numbering and at the start of each day you tell the camera to create a new folder. When you go home, you'll have a separate folder for each day with each folder containing images numbered starting from 1.
Or maybe you want to create a new folder every time you start shooting a new event. This way when you will get home you'll have all of your images already grouped by event or subject into separate folders.
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